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School of Arts & Sciences Faculty Directory

Professor of Foreign Language

Phone: 785-248-2316
PhD - University of Kansas
MHL - Ottawa University
MPh - University of Kansas
MA - Kansas State University
BA - Kansas State University
After earning his BA degree in French with a minor in German and music at Kansas State University, Dr. Mordy studied for one year as a Fulbright in Paris and Lille, France.  The next year he returned to K-State as a Ford Foundation Scholar to pursue his MA in French.  One year later Dr. Mordy began his doctorate in French language and literature with a minor in German at the University of Kansas on a NDEA Title IV scholarship, completing all requirements in 1979. 

Following his two-year teaching position as a teaching assistant at KU, Dr. Mordy taught French at West Texas State University.  Since 1973 he has been teaching foreign languages at Ottawa University, namely French and Spanish, and serving university wide as the International Student Advisor.  Dr. Mordy is also advisor to the Whole Earth Club and Sigma Alpha.  He has received several awards including the OU Board of Trustees Award for Excellence; honorary membership in the OU Alumni Association; two study abroad scholarships from the American Association of Teachers of French to study in Quebec, Canada, and France; and the prestigious rank of Chevalier in the Palmes Académiques from the French Government. 

In his limited free time Dr. Mordy plays violin in the OU Orchestra, exchanges correspondence with former international students and attends occasional plays and concerts in Kansas City or sees selected movies.  

Associate Professor of Music

Phone: 785-248-2521
DMus, Northwestern University
MA - Kent State University
BM - Kent State University 
Michael Pagán is Associate Professor of Music and serves as Chair of the Music Department at Ottawa University. He received his Doctor of Music degree in composition from Northwestern University; his Master of Arts in composition and Bachelor of Music in Music Education were earned at Kent State University.

Dr. Pagán teaches courses in theory, composition, arranging and piano in classical and jazz contexts. He also directs the University’s vocal jazz ensemble, Bravo! He has performed as a jazz pianist for nearly forty years throughout the United States and in Europe with a long list of notable jazz musicians, has recorded ten CDs as a leader and appears as a sideman on numerous others.

While a graduate student at Kent State University, he won first prize in the New Music For Young Ensembles composer’s competition, which included a Carnegie Hall premiere. Doctoral work in composition at Northwestern followed, and soon Pagán was playing the jazz clubs of Chicago and was mentioned in Downbeat as a musician “deserving wider recognition.” He has also performed on the historic steamer Delta Queen on the Mississippi River. He performs regularly at numerous venues in Kansas City and surrounding regions, including a regular weekly solo piano engagement at Café Trio, where he is in his ninth year, and, since 2014, periodic appearances of the Mike Pagán Big Band.

He has held faculty positions at Olivet College, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and UMKC. Michael Pagán's recorded music appears on the Cadence, Capri, Dutch Music Partners, Tapestry and Artists Recording Collective labels and his music is published by Dutch Music Partners of The Netherlands and UNC Jazz Press.

Associate Professor of Psychology and Human Services

Phone: 602-749-5150
MHL - Ottawa University
MA - Northern Arizona University
BA - Ottawa University
AA - Gateway Community College
Fred Romero currently serves as a full-time online faculty member. He started with Ottawa University in 1981 as an adjunct faculty member in Psychology. In 1988 he was offered a full-time faculty position as an Assistant Professor of Psychology. Romero has served as a faculty member, Dean, and Coordinator of Academic Operations for the Arizona campuses. He was assigned as the DOI for both Arizona and Online in September of 2012. Fred is one of OU’s pioneering online instructors who initially gained experience in online teaching in 2000 with Arizona’s first totally online offering in Police Science in partnership with Rio Salado College.
Prior to accepting the full-time faculty position at Ottawa University, Romero served three years as the Political Research Director and Legislative Lobbyist for the Arizona Public Employees Association/American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (APEA/AFSCME).
Prior to working with APEA/AFSCME, Romero served fourteen years in the behavioral health field. His experiences during this period included serving as a Mental Health Worker where he eventually became a unit director of a federally funded operant conditioning program at the Arizona State Hospital from 1970 to 1975. From 1975 to 1981, Romeo served as a trainer and program specialist on two federal grant programs funded by NIMH and NIH dealing with the chronically mentally ill for the Department of Health, Division of Behavioral Health Services. Romero was also a certified trainer for NIMH, NCAE, and NIH for federally developed training programs in individual and group counseling techniques. From 1981 to 1984, he served as the Director for a federal project dealing with research in counseling professions in Arizona and eventually served as the Director for the Department of Health subvention services for agencies dealing with children with emotional problems before resigning from state service in 1984.

Romero is a veteran where he served in the US Army under a three-year voluntary enlistment.  He served two tours in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968 with a 1st Cavalry Division reconnaissance unit.
Romero earned his AA in Mental Health Technology in 1972 and is a 1980 graduate of Ottawa University with a BA in Psychology. He earned his MA in Education/Counseling from Northern Arizona University in 1981. In recognition of his service as a faculty member, he earned his Master of Humane Letters from OU in 1995 and became tenured. In 1998, Romero completed faculty development through the MLE Institute at Harvard University.  Romero took doctoral studies in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Arizona State University.
Romero, who resides in Glendale, Arizona, is married to Kim Coffman-Romero who is a Professor of Education with OU. They are parents of five adult sons and enjoy nine grandchildren. 

Assistant Professor of Psychology

PhD - Capella University
MS - Capella University
BA - University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Leslie Sherlin, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Ottawa’s Surprise campus. He completed his bachelors degree in psychology, masters degree in clinical psychology and with an emphasis in clinical psychology he finished his PhD in psychology. In 2013 he completed a re-specialization and post doctoral fellowship in sport psychology. Dr. Sherlin is one of the world’s leading experts on the neuroscience of high performance. He has founded a number of different companies pioneering services and tools in the psychology and psychophysiology markets.  He is a leader in the research and use of neuroscience for improving human performance. He has led research partnerships with Red Bull’s High Performance Center, USA Track & Field, US military Special Operations Forces, professional teams in multiple sports in many countries, to discover what the brains of the most high performing people were doing and help them do more of it.  He has published this work in the academic literature and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Sports Illustrated, CNN, ESPN, CBS, Popular Science, Outdoor Magazine and more.

He joined Ottawa University full time in 2017 at the opening of the Surprise campus in Arizona after having been an adjunct faculty. He continues to keep his hands in the trenches providing sport and performance consulting services to individuals and teams. Dr. Sherlin is listed in the United States Olympic Committee Sport Psychology and Mental Training Registry. He is a Certified Consultant by the Association for Applied Sport Psychology, certified by the International Board of Quantitative Electrophysiology, certified at the Diplomat level in quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) and is BCIA Board Certified both in Biofeedback and Neurofeedback. He has served on the board of directors for both the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research and the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance in a number of elected positions including the president/chairman. 

Assistant Professor of Counseling
Field Placement Coordinator

Phone: 602-749-3164

Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology
Adawe Mentor

EdD - Argosy University 
MS - California State University
BA - California State University
Dr. Jennifer Gonzales Thompson is a faculty member and Adawe Mentor with Ottawa University at the residential campus in Surprise, Arizona. She earned a BA in Liberal Studies, and a MS in Counseling from California State University, Sacramento State. She also earned an EdD in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University-San Francisco Bay Area. She conducted her research on the relationship between parental pressure and the academic success of first-generation Filipino college students.

Jennifer has an extensive background in higher education which includes working in admissions, but mostly in academic advising where she has worked with a variety of student populations: Traditional 4-year and adult learners, international students, military students-both active duty and retired veterans, and underrepresented student populations. Jennifer has also taught as an adjunct faculty in the online and in-classroom format.

Jennifer presented at several conferences for the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA), as well as university specific conferences and summits on improving advising services for the purpose of retention by utilizing various advising theories and techniques.

In her spare time, Jennifer likes to spend time with her husband, Lance, and their children Tyler, Kailey, Kiana, and their English Mastiff, Violet. She also enjoys cooking, music, and reading.

Vice President and Provost, OUAZ
Professor of Science

Phone: 623-233-7549
PhD - Northeastern University
MS - Northeastern University
BS - Northeastern University
Dr. Dennis J. Tyner joined Ottawa University in January 2007 as Vice President and Provost of The College.  He has been teaching at the collegiate level since 1986 when he began lecturing at Northeastern University in Boston, MA.  Immediately prior to coming to Ottawa University, Dr. Tyner served for 8 years as the Dean of The David Crawford School of Engineering at Norwich University, the oldest private military college in the nation.  In that capacity, he helped to reverse a decade long trend of declining enrollment and was able to substantially increase the number of undergraduate engineering students enrolled at the school.  During that time he was instrumental in the development of new undergraduate program offerings, he designed an annual Engineering Summer Camp and a semi-annual Engineering Showcase, and he established the school’s first on-line graduate program.

Dr. Tyner grew up in Boston, MA and earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in 1985, 1986, and 1992, respectively.  His primary research focused on applying digital communication methods in magnetic storage systems to increase the storage capacity of magnetic media.  He published several articles on his research and presented his results at national and international conferences.  While pursuing his BS and MS degrees, Dr. Tyner was employed by GTE as a member of the Radio Products Group of their Communication Systems Division, and during that time he was part of a team that developed the secure communication radios for the aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise, and for the NASA Space Shuttle.

After earning his doctorate, Dr. Tyner joined the faculty at Norwich University as an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering where he developed and taught new courses in communications and digital signal processing.  In addition to his academic work, he served Norwich University in several other areas during his 14 year employment with them, including admissions, facilities operations, student activities, and athletics.  He also served as a textbook reviewer for Prentice Hall and authored two solutions manuals for electric circuits textbooks that he evaluated.

Dr. Tyner is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honor Society, and he served as advisor to Norwich’s student chapter from 1994 to 2006.  He was instrumental in helping the chapter achieve national recognition, as they were twice voted as the runner-up and twice voted the R.C. Matthews Most Outstanding Chapter.   In 1997, Dr. Tyner was nominated for, and received, the Tau Beta Pi Most Outstanding Advisor Award.  That same year, he was also selected to serve the organization as a facilitator for their award-winning Engineering Futures program, and he travels to schools across the nation to deliver seminars on public speaking, interpersonal skills, analytical problem solving, meeting management, and team chartering.

Dr. Tyner and his wife Patricia have 8 children and they reside with 5 of them in Ottawa, KS.  One of his children (Kristi) and his wife are graduates of Ottawa University, and three of his children (Kandi, David, and Kevin) are currently enrolled in courses at the Ottawa campus.

Associate Professor of Biochemistry

Phone: 785-248-2580
PhD - University of North Dakota School of Medicine
BA - University of Wisconsin-River Falls
Dr. Thomas Wiese teaches chemistry and biology courses at the college, in addition to responsibilities to other areas of the University.  After completing his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, he graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine in 1990.  Prior to joining Ottawa University he held positions in the Pathology Department at Washington University School of Medicine and Internal Medicine Department at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. He taught for 19 years at Fort Hays State University where he was a tenured Professor of Chemistry.
Dr. Wiese’s primary research interest is in the metabolism of L-fucose.  In his career he has received nearly one million dollars in funding from both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF).  He has worked with more than
65 undergraduate and high school students as well as chairing two graduate student committees.  He and his students have authored 27 abstracts, 14 full length manuscripts and one book chapter.
A native of Wisconsin, Dr. Wiese has also lived in North Dakota, Missouri and Iowa before landing in Kansas.  In his spare time he enjoys walks with his wife and golden retriever. He has a variety of hobbies including woodworking, gardening, leather work and reading. Professionally he is involved with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the American Chemical Society, where he has held a number of leadership positions.

Associate Professor of Music

Phone: 785-248-2524
DMA - University of Kansas
MA - Stephen F. Austin State University
BM - Arizona State University
Todd Wilkinson is the Instructor of Saxophone and Director of Jazz Studies at Ottawa University in Ottawa, Kansas. He is a native of Kansas City, a devoted husband and father of three, and a free-lance musician/composer living in Overland Park, Kansas. For more than thirty years, Wilkinson has dedicated himself to the promotion and development of music and young musicians. He has a passion for all styles of saxophone performance and is a respected member of the Kansas City musical community.
Wilkinson discovered his love for music in the Kansas Unified School District 512, when he began playing saxophone in the fourth grade band (1969). He graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School (1978), where he was inspired to a musical career by Lynn Harrington, Director of Bands, and Choir Director, Jim Ballard. Wilkinson’s college saxophone experience includes a Bachelor of Music from Arizona State University (1983), under the tutelage of Dr. Joseph Wytko, a Master of Arts from Stephen. F. Austin State University (1986), studying with Dr. John Goodall and Dr. Robert (Bob) Miller, two years of doctoral work at the University of Northern Colorado (1986-8) studying with Professor Roger Greenburg, and a Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of Kansas (2007) where he did extensive study with Professor Vincent Gnojek.
As a jazz performer, Wilkinson’s major teachers include pianists Dr. Tom Ferguson, Dr. Robert Washut, Dr. Robert Miller, and Professor Chuck Marohnic at Arizona State University. In Texas, he spent time with M. Eugene Hall, founder of the jazz program at the University of North Texas, and worked closely with Trumpeter/ Arranger, G. Darrell Holt. Later at the University of Northern Colorado he was associated with Professor Daniel Gailey, and I.A.J.E. Hall of Fame member, Dr. Gene Aitken.
Wilkinson’s past tenure includes: Board membership on the Topeka Jazz Workshop, Inc., Artistic Director for the Coleman Hawkins Legacy Jazz Festival, and Director of Jazz Studies and Instructor of Saxophone at Washburn University (2000-05). His earlier work in Kansas City included stints as the President of the Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors (1991-93), Board Member of the Kansas City Jazz Commission, and Owner/Operator of the Drum Room jazz club (1994-95). Wilkinson has also done freelance work for the International Association of Jazz Educators and the Grammy Awards. From 1994-2000 he was the bandleader of the award-winning Bokomaru, and is very proud of their CD entitled, Dreamland (2000).
Wilkinson’s publications include: The Kansas City Jazz and Blues Nightlife Survival Kit -1992, Premier Quatour, Op. 53 Jean-Baptiste Singelee (1812-1875) an Analytical Overview of the First S.A.T.B. Saxophone Quartet - 2004, William P. Latham’s Sisyphus 1971: An Analysis Using Common Tone Networks – 2005, and Frank Trumbauer’s Saxophone Studies and Modern Solos for Saxophone: Compositions by the Hot Jazz Virtuoso and Their Place within the American Saxophone Tradition - 2006. He is currently working on an outline of Practical Assessments for Young Musicians.
Wilkinson has conducted Honors Jazz Bands throughout the Midwest and has worked as a clinician/adjudicator in Washington State, Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas, Colorado, and Missouri. He has appeared as a sideman with scores of major performers, most notably Mel Torme, Joe Williams, Patti Page, Kevin Mahogany, the Kansas City Chiefs T.D. Pack Band, the Temptations, Diane Schurr, Karrin Allyson, Natalie Cole, and Wayne Newton.

Professor of Program Specialist - Nursing

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